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MBABANE – Inmates at His Majesty’s Correctional Services (HMCS) are faced with a shortage of food and toilet paper.

This, it has been established, is a result of government’s precarious financial position.
The Times SUNDAY understands that some inmates now use newspapers when they go to the toilet. Others rely on money given to them by their relatives to buy foodstuffs and toilet paper, among other bare necessities.
Isaiah Mzuthini Ntshangase, Correctional Services Commissioner General, addressed inmates and senior officials about the matter on Tuesday.

The situation has reached a state where inmates have reduced food rations. To add salt to the wound, the department cannot afford to buy toilet paper for the offenders.
Assistant Commissioner Bongani Khumalo, the department’s Public Relations Officer, said they had released a press statement addressing the issue he was questioned on.
Khumalo had been asked about the shortage of food in correctional facilities. He said the press statement was about a meeting the commissioner general had with some senior officials and inmates in Matsapha. “Please use the press release. I believe it has all the answers,” said Khumalo.

According to the said press release being referred to by Khumalo, a representative of the inmates acknowledged that government was facing fiscal challenges.
He thanked the commissioner general for supporting them during times of financial problems.
Meanwhile, Ntshangase, through his department’s communications department, invited the Times SUNDAY to a meeting tomorrow.

He said this meeting would be attended by Edgar Hillary, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.
Information from the communications department was to the effect that at that meeting, the questions raised by this publication would be addressed. They said they could not comment on the issue of food shortage because the commissioner general had already invited this reporter to the meeting.

On Thursday, the department asked to respond to the questions raised by this publication in writing on Friday.

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